StarWind Customer Feedback

With more than 30,000 global users in over 100 countries, StarWind helps customers manage, simplify and secure their virtual environments with reliable and affordable shared storage solutions.

Find out how StarWind customers are using StarWind Virtual SAN solutions to solve real world problems.

Victor Naiko, Head of virtualization solutions department, HOSTKEY

"We would like to sincerely thank StarWind Support team for well-timed assistance, proactivity and substantive responses they provide to our requests. We have been StarWind customer for years, and we feel sure to acknowledge that the company constantly improves technical support being focused on customers’ needs."

Igor Nistor, Head of IT Department, CIPTI

"Basically, StarWind saved us, because losing one node didn't cause downtime or data loss. One node crashed and right now we're going on a single node in emergency mode."

Benjamin Helfmann, CEO, HECOSYS Helfmann Computer Systeme GmbH:

"Since our developers spend a lot of time out of office, PC virtualization was a godsend. It enables us to control essential machines remotely, including powering them on and off, or even creating and installing new ones, on the go.

For a long time, we were searching for a good storage method for our small Hyper-V virtualization cluster. We tried different things like Synology NAS or FreeNAS with iSCSI. Things that worked were either slow or unstable. So the virtualization cluster and its stability was always a major concern.

StarWind offers a method to integrate storage and virtualization, StarWind Virtual SAN. We tried it and decided it helps fulfill our requirements. For the first time, we get almost the native performance of the underlying disks across nodes, without a dependency to another storage node that is just another single point of failure. Whichever node fails, leaves the other working.

This is the solution we have been searching for. The support crew is good and prompt. And it continuously gets better. New near-term features include ways to increase SSD performance."

Karin Wassner, Customer Support Manager, Motorola Solutions Austria GmbH:

"StarWind Virtual SAN took moments to install and is running stable right now, easily dealing with all the workload we're throwing at it."

Rasmus Haslund, Consultant&Instructor Arrow ECS Denmark:

"I teach VMware vSphere classes and we run everything virtual for when students are doing hands-on labs. We needed a virtual SAN that supported VAAI hardware acceleration, could specify LUN id and if possible would let us accelerate using memory. Starwinds free virtual SAN turned out to be the perfect match! Since we changed from Openfiler to Starwind we have gotten so many compliments from students on how fast the setup works."

Ahmed Mubarak, Service Desk Analyst, PepsiCo Inc.

"I have been using StarWind in a lab environment to test Server clustering, and it worked fine. Especially it has a very easy interface."

Gregor Langer, Network Administrator, IM|S Intelligent Media Systems AG

"We have been using StarWind Virtual SAN for many years now and are very satisfied with the product. We deploy StarWind as a storage for Windows Cluster System, up to the present moment - 100% reliability. 100% satisfied."

Pavel Krátký, Ekonomické informační systémy s.r.o.

"Two years ago we searched for a solution for the shared volume. We compared hardware and software solutions, and “StarWind Virtual SAN” was one of the options. We tried free version for a technological demo, and then tried trial version on real machines. All tests were successful, and after comparison with other solutions we suggested our customer the Starwind software. They approved it, so we could buy it for them."

Jean Souza, Managing Partner, SNAMP LLC

"Due to a sudden shutting down of Tiger Cloud, a Linux-based iSCSi storage provider used by one of our clients as a virtualization solution vendor, we were asked to look for an urgent replacement. As a result, we have ended up with StarWind Virtual SAN presenting a storage built on 7 servers using VMware hypervisor environment and hosting 100 virtual machines. Being responsible for the customer’s virtualization environment maintenance, we have had no major problems with it and are fully satisfied with the product."

Grzegorz Magierski, Owner, Electronix Box

"I am a person who always looks for new solutions, so, having come across StarWind Virtual SAN, I decided to give it a try. Thus, my company can boast of having a very reliable datacenter, which is crucial for businesses like mine, which specialize in security alarm systems."

Markus Erlacher, CEO, itnetX AG

"We deploy VTL functionality of StarWind Virtual SAN for our customers’ Backup Projects. The solution ideally complements System Center DPM and fulfills our and our customers' requirements in full."

Gerry Wisnoski, Owner and Consultant, Clearlight Information Systems Ltd.

"One of our customers, a rapidly growing provider of wireless internet services, who couldn't afford the expensive traditional iSCSI Storage Arrays, found a better way to achieve the same solid IT infrastructure with high availability and redundancy by using StarWind Virtual SAN. As a result, the company did so well that it was sold to another owner, partly thanks to StarWind software-defined storage."

Marc Moennikes, IT Specialist, KKRN GmbH.

"We deploy StarWind in 2 hospitals together with Hyper- V. Thus, each facility has 2 servers with internal hard disks, Windows 2012R2, 10 Gigabit network connection for a cluster and StarWind synchronization running.We virtualize its local servers, other services are provided from the central data center. However, StarWind is very stable, so far no crashes."

Josh Wolfe, IT Administrator, Tandia.

"Thanks to the StarWind Virtual SAN software I have been able to set up a Microsoft Failover Cluster, hosting Print Services, in 2 geographically separate locations connected via MPLS (2 Virtual Print Servers, with preferred site and fail-back to each respectful location). I set up a VMware virtual machine hosted in ESX in each location running Windows 2008R2 Enterprise (each with their own separate and unique SAN storage that wasn’t capable of SAN-level replication between them), and was able to use the StarWind Virtual SAN software installed on them to set up replication, creating 2 replicated volumes I needed to serve as Clustered Disks for the Microsoft Print Services.

When working on this project, I thought that the limitations of using virtual machines with different storage solutions not capable of replication with each other directly in an acceptable way was going to put the brakes on the whole thing, but, thanks to the StarWind, I have been able to overcome those solutions; I have been testing the system for some time now and have as yet experienced hardly an issue.

Overall I am extremely happy with the product and thankful for having found it!"

Anton Zatsepin, Chief Executive Officer, UA.Capitals.Ltd:

"StarWind approach is truly winning. StarWind Native SAN for Hyper-V is easily configured, provides high performance, and eliminates a single point of failure. You also do not need any external fault-tolerant storage which minimizes the cost of deployment."

Daniel Covell, Founder and President, The Covell Group LLC:

"For most beer drinkers Anchor Steam Beer is a household name and a well-loved beer that has been handed down through generations. This San Francisco based company recently upgraded their entire IT infrastructure with a VMware VDI solution. This solution required servers, software, and one of the more expensive pieces of the puzzle the SAN. To keep cost down and double duty some of the hardware Anchor is using StarWind’s iSCSI SAN software on a Dell server running Windows 2008 R2. This server is being used as a Domain Controller for the site as well as a SAN for all the virtual desktops (approximately 40). The OS is using a Mirrored set of SAS drives while the StarWind iSCSI software is using a RAID 10 set of 15k SAS drives in RAW mode.

The performance especially considering the price is unbeatable. We have another SAN that was by itself more money than the server and the software and the performance is less than the StarWind setup. The only drawback is because we double duty the server, monthly patches require a reboot of the server, but we simply suspend the virtual desktops, reboot, and start everything back up. With a dedicated server this would not really even need to be done.

The stability has never been an issue, not even a single hiccup. This is a product I would highly recommend especially in the SMB market where budgets are always tighter and utilizing hardware for multiple purposes makes the management very happy. "

Ed Liao, Network Administrator, CA State University Dominguez Hills:

"With the free StarWind iSCSI SAN with Deduplication software, I salvaged bunch of old servers to be used as SAN storage devices. I then build a complete test platform to emulate my production environment. I was able to test some disaster recovery situations and high availability scenarios on this setup and found some defects in the system design. These faulty design problems were fixed before any disaster hit my real production systems because the knowledge learned from the test setup.

I give Starwind iSCSI SAN with deduplication software a 5 stars rating because its flexibility in using any industry standard hardware and it is a complete software without any limitation. Thanks StarWind. "

Ed Goad, Sr. Systems Engineer, WTS, Inc.:

"We help perform DR recoveries and testing for our clients. As such, we need to run several different types and versions of backup software to access our tape libraries. With ESX3.5, this was available using SCSI pass-through to connect a VM to the FC fabric and present the drives. We then built out several VMs, each with different backup software, however this didn’t work in ESX 4.0.

Historically we have kept several ESX hosts at 3.5 to continue this function. When I learned about the iSCSI tape functionality, it was a potential life saver. The iSCSI gateway successfully sees and exports the tape library and drives, and VMs can access the library using the Microsoft iSCSI initiator. We are currently doing a POC to determine if the performance and flexibility meets our production needs to allow us to migrate all our tape functions over iSCSI. "

Charles Harris, Enterprise Architect, Solutia Inc.:

"StarWind iSCSI is a perfect solution for businesses who want to start using virtualization, but don’t have a huge budget to prove the benefits of using VMWare. I have been able to implement this solution for many small and medium size businesses and have never been disappointed with the results. Star Wind is also a perfect solution for Dev environments where we didn’t want to use expensive FC storage to host Dev/Test systems. Thank you for developing a great product."

Dave Jamison, IT Manager, Solid Earth, Inc.:

"The company I work for, a small real estate software firm, was looking for its first SAN solution. We wanted to add storage to our Oracle Databases and enable the advanced features of our VMWare Essentials Plus package. We received a quote from a national computer manufacturer for production and backup iSCSI appliances that totaled $50,000 including iSCSI enabled network switches. The cost was more than we could bear at the time, so we looked for alternatives.

We are a Microsoft Windows shop, and all the reviews gave Starwind the best ratings for a Microsoft Server implementation of an iSCSI target. With those reviews in mind, we went back to our computer vendor and ordered two Windows servers with lots of disk drives and the same iSCSI enabled network switches for a total of $13,000. We then installed the Starwind package on both servers at a cost of about $2,000. In the end, we created an equivalent iSCSI solution, with similar functionality and disk drive speeds, at a cost savings of $35,000! "

Nathan Lowe, IT Systems Analyst, Professional Contract Services, Inc:

"After virtualizing >80% of our datacenter, we realized we need fast, reliable and (above all else) centralized storage. Having just virtualized so much, we had plenty of server hardware, but not enough NAS or SAN space. StarWind allowed us to transition these systems to centralized SAN storage for all of our ESX hosts. StarWind is a must for any organization that wants to virtualize while reducing the costs of new hardware."

J. Hunter Pfeifer, Senior Systems Administrator:

"In today's world of ever-growing infrastructure, and with servers per rack density needing to be higher and higher, we often end up with servers that have no dvd/cd drive. If you couple that with the fact that many of our systems reside in a data center fairly far from our office, Starwind provides an excellent solution with the Virtual Optical Drive feature. That allows me to share a repository of ISOs for my physical servers in a remote location. No more looking for lost disks, and no more paying exorbitant fees to have data center remote help change out discs for me! Absolutely fantastic."

Harvey Etter, Sr. Systems Administrator, PNY Technologies, Inc.:

"We currently run 14 ESX Servers. We run databases on these machines. We started using your RAMDISK to speed up databases and it works great. I know this isn’t geared towards VMWARE, but we use it in a VMWARE environment and it works great. We have read about some of your Vmware products and are looking forward to learning more about them at Vmware world. But we are definitely fans of your software."

Robert Pfannkuche, Winston & Strawn LLP:

"Just thought I would share a brief story about the free iscsi san software that starwind has. I work at a large international legal firm and we have been using expensive EMC fiber channel storage devices for years. We have a storage guy that says that we have to keep using fiber storage from emc because iscsi does not offer the same performance.

As the virtualization guy here I look at the performance metrics to determine how a virtual machine is working. We are currently testing the iscsi san solution and I am seeing it perform as well as the fiber connections and in some cases it is running better than our old EMC storage devices.

I am hoping that this will convince our storage guy (and maybe other) that moving to an iscsi solution is a good idea.

In the pass we have also used the starwind converter in order to move some virtual machine to the VHD format.

Keep on building good products!!! "

Kevin Levine, Escalation Engineer, VCE:

"I am new to VMware as of February 2011 and yet I have been working very hard to come up to speed, even having obtained my VCP4 as of June 2011. Interestingly, my success story is most likely a little different than others you might receive in that I have actually become a fan of StarWind by having subscribed to your email subscription and learning about your product offerings that way."

Rob Мarkovic, Virtual Computing Environment, California, USA:

"The story goes like this: once upon a time there was an new SAN purchased, which upon arrival looks shiny and new, but underneath was DOA. Due to the timing requirements to get servers and services up and running, and the SAN replacement not meeting those requirements, the team had to improvise. Sacrificing a few servers, one brilliant mind thought of using a virtual appliance to aggregate just enough shared disk space to start getting the remaining servers and services up and running.

In comes StarWind Software to the rescue with their iSCSI SAN software that virtualized the local storage on several servers to save the week!"

To download the software products please make your choice below. An installer link and the license key will be sent to the e-mail address you specify. Please check the Free vs. Paid document if you are uncertain of the StarWind Virtual SAN version. A totally unrestricted NFR (Not For Resale) version of StarWind Virtual SAN is available for certain use cases. Learn more here. The Release Notes can be found here.

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